More SF Cab Stories

Albert drove me home. He didn't seem to know where he was going. He went up Eleventh Street to Folsom and then down Folsom until I had to tell him to turn on Fourth Street. He slammed on his brakes and screeched around the corner from the middle lane. Then he told me one Friday night six weeks ago he had found a briefcase off an alley off fourth street. "It had all these checks and things in it with four bags of white powder in them. I thought it was coke and tasted some." He gestured towards his mouth as if he was eating something delicate. "It turned out to be pure LSD, I had to go to the hospital." He shook his head, "and on a Friday night. My friend took some too, he ended up running around Potrero Hill taking all his clothes off. Man, if only I hadn't blown it, I could have had ten thousand dollars for that stuff. The cops have it now. The briefcase belongs to some woman in Sacremento." [Alistair]

Brent and I used to take this guy named Ed from the bars South of Market to his house in Fairfax. It was an $80 cab ride, but it was always tough because he would talk for the whole ride. Then predictably whenever we got him to his house he'd want us to have sex with him. He was always telling me that all his cab drivers had sex with him. Needless to say neither of us ever did anything with Ed besides take him home and argue with him about the fare. I ran a tape recorder one night during the ride and this is a transcription of some of it. -Matt

"Brent really likes my poetry, and both of you have to buy my novel, ok? It's $35 but it's 300 pages... I'm a gentleman to my friends. Are you a gentleman? I can tell you are. You're going to be fair to me... Did you see the picture of me on the cover of my poetry book? Did you see my bare chest? I like to get hit with a belt on the chest... I died of AIDS a year ago, now I'm back and gaining 20 pounds every two weeks. I'm 54. I've had a good life. I've been wined and dined by professional people. Hollywood. Oh yeah, I've had a good life. My friends have always encouraged me saying `Ed, your writing is better than any of that crap like Stephen King'... I want you to come to Fairfax and visit me. It's idylic... I like to get my cock sucked down South of Market. Excuse my language. I don't mean to offend you. Brent says I don't offend him... I met a man who held a lit cigar near my nipple and didn't touch me, but it was hot. Do you smoke cigars?"


I picked her up at a motel on Lombard Street, she was arguing with two men at the front desk. I picked up her bags and put them in the trunk. I got behind the wheel and waited. Finally she got in the cab. "I'm going to report them to the Better Business Bureau. They wouldn't give me a receipt for my phone calls. They have to give me one by law, an itemized receipt of all the calls I make. They tried to tell me that they didn't have to give me one so I told them I used to work for the phone company as an operator, so I know. And all they said was, `That's an honorable profession.' and I told them they were a bunch of shitheads and that's why I quit. That place is such a dump. When I checked in they tried to give me a room with an ajoining door and I had specifically asked for a room without an ajoining door. They tried to tell me that it was perfectly safe, but you never know when the person in the next room could break in through that door. It's very easy to pick locks. They said they only had one room without an ajoining door but I made them give it to me, but it was right over the street. It was very noisy and not that far above the sidewalk. Anyone with a twelve foot ladder could get in the window. And the other night there were all these people hanging around outside; girls making noise. I think there was some kind of business going on. I think they were pimps. So I called the police and told them there was something funny going on. The police came and the people left. They never came back either. What a dump." [Alistair]

"Yeah, you see, I've got to go to San Bruno. But I don't want to go right now. I'd make it worth your while." And he leaned back against the trunk of my cab. "You see, my girlfriend works down their, at Artichoke Joes. She's a waitress there. I have to get the money from her. But it's cool `cause I gotta hook with her. See it's a puzzle and she's got one piece and I've got the other." He rubbed his nose with a quick little movement. "Like this piece?" said Jose making an injecting motion with his cigarette on his arm. "Yeah," he laughed weakly. "So what you got?" said Jose. "Uptown, strictly uptown, 80-85% pure, but she's got it. And I got the rig. See my girlfriend doesn't like me to get high unless I'm with her. So we gotta hook up, but she's got the inventory. [Alistair]